6 Groups ask Duterte: Appoint true representatives for labor, management in government agencies

LEADERS of major labor and employers’ groups on Wednesday issued a united appeal to President Duterte to appoint “genuine” stakeholder representatives in government agencies.

The executives of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) and the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) made the appeal in a letter to Duterte.

The group said currently, labor and management are not properly represented in 29 government agencies, including the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), among others.

It said many of the labor and management representatives in the said agencies are in holdover capacity, or the slots are either vacant, or are filled by inappropriate representatives.

“We also noted that there are posts filled by individuals who are unknown to the sectors since they had not been properly endorsed by the recognized employers and trade unions in the country,” the letter said.

The letter is part of the first initiative of the Leaders Forum, established by the six organizations, to come out with positions agreed on by labor and management groups.

In a conference, FFW President Sonny Matula said labor and management must be properly represented to ensure government policies will effectively address the concerns of both parties and in compliance with local laws and international commitments.

He cited Republic Act 10395 or the Strengthened Tripartism Act, which required the government to have representation from the workers and employers, and ILO Convention 144 requiring employers and workers to be represented in decision making bodies.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. also expressed the same concern, since it prevents them from airing their concerns on important policies.

“In the previous administration, their appointees will approach us to ask our endorsement. Now they don’t even bother,” Ortiz-Luis said.